UK Blog Awards #UKBA16
So I wasn't a winner last night but, you know what, I had the best time ever and am sooo happy to have been a finalist at such an amazing awards do! I may not have won but to even be in the top ten shortlist of travel bloggers across the WHOLE of the UK makes me super proud! Thankyou for all the lovely messages, happy Saturday everyone! 💖💖 #UKBA16 @ukblogawards
I’ve recently returned from one of my blog highlights of the year, the fantastic UK Blog Awards which I was SHORTLISTED for as a top ten travel blogger! I attended the awards with my best friend and had a fantastic evening; the event was super-duper cool and was held in the stunning Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel. Organised in association with Debenhams, Odeon and Hills Balfour, the awards were also sponsored by EventTrees who transformed the ballroom into an enchanted forest wonderland to commemorate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday year and the release of his latest film, The BFG. Although I didn’t win the coveted Best Travel Blogger award I still had an amazing time…here are my best bits!
Hosted in association with Odeon, the awards were sponsored by numerous companies across the various industries the bloggers were being judged from. We had Debenhams representing the fashion and beauty section, Hills Balfour representing the travel section and BMW flying the flag for the automotive section. Some fellow bloggers were even chauffeured by BMW to and from the venue (lucky sods!) as a courtesy package – unfortunately I wasn’t able to experience this but, as we were staying in the hotel itself I didn’t think I could complain too much 😉
The awards were held in the swanky Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel which I had the pleasure of reviewing during my stay. The hotel is one of the largest in London, with over 1000 rooms laid out across 14 floors, and views across the whole of Westminster. With the event kicking off at 7pm sharp, we made our way from our room on level 12, down past reception to level minus two, the ballroom, where we were greeted by staff members and huge Blog Award banners – we definitely knew we were in the right place!
Prosecco and canapes were thrust upon us as we entered the ballroom, and we were snapped by photographers and interviewed by journalists straightaway – oh the joys of arriving early! 😉 We had the whole of the ballroom floor and three large rooms to use throughout the evening which made us feel that extra bit special. Entertainment came in the form of a pop up cinema by Odeon (the popcorn was amazing) and a bubble show by Bubbleinc – such a fun concept and, seeing as I’m always in my own little bubble, I thought I might as well be in a REAL LIFE ONE!
The evening was kicked off with a welcome from our host, Kate Russell, journalist, reporter and author who won a UK Blog Award herself at the 2015 ceremony. Kate told us how her profile in the blogosphere has been heightened since her award win last year and how important it is for brands and bloggers to connect with each other in the ever changing world of social media.
Gemma Newton, founder of the event, was next to speak and she gave us a real insight into the blogging industry and how important it is becoming in today’s media. Gemma’s inspiring speech made all us bloggers think and take stock – she’s standing up for US and helping US to get recognised by experts, brands and industry professionals.. here’s to the gaining even more power in the industry over the next few years – bloggers unite!
The award categories
There were 18 categories in total, from weddings and photography to beauty and fashion to travel and lifestyle, with ten shortlisted bloggers in each sector for the individual and company entrants. There were over 150 bloggers nominated in each sector, so to be shortlisted in the top ten is massive achievement in itself!! I was lucky enough to be shortlisted in the individual travel section along with fellow TBloggers Vicki and Chris from Eat Sleep Love Travel, Lucy from Faraway Lucy and Ella from I am Ella. It was so strange to see all our names lit up on the big screen!
Lucy and I met each other at Traverse16 – we got on like a house on fire and have remained firm friends ever since! This lovely lady was voted Highly Commended in our travel category and I was SO PROUD of her! Congratulations Luce you fully deserved the recognition – love you lots! <3
The dress code
We were under strict instructions to dress up as glam as we could when attending the awards; for the girls it was either cocktail or floor length dresses and for the boys it was suits all round! I’m so tiny that floor length dresses totally DROWN me so I thought I should opt for fun cocktail number to make me look at least a little glamourous! I chose a sassy little red dress by Rare London, I loved the fit and the style and felt it suited me down to the ground. Thank you Rare for a beautiful dress… I felt a million dollars in it!!
The social media exposure
I have had an ENORMOUS amount of new interest in my blog since I announced that I was shortlisted for this years awards. I’ve been featured in two newspapers and have been interviewed by a local TV company to share my blog awards story. I’ve gained hundreds of new followers across all forms of social media and have made virtual friends with so many people! The weekly #bloghour Twitter chat has also meant that I’ve been actively involved with speaking to event organisers, sponsors, industry professionals and fellow bloggers in the run up to the big night. Thankfully #bloghour will still be running every Tuesday at 9pm so I’ll still get my weekly blogger fix! I’m so grateful for all the exposure that UK Blog Awards has thrown my way and I’ve absolutely LOVED being a part of such a fantastic experience.
So this happened yesterday and no it wasn't an April fools!! My press piece in The Oxford Mail has been published! 😝🙈 #travel #bloggers #travelblogger #wanderlust #worlderlust #travelphotography #traveladdict #instatravel #travelgram #instadaily #instaphoto #photoready #photooftheday #inspire #tourism #darlingescapes #bbctravel #natgeo #lonelyplanet #mytinyatlas #oxfordmail #localpress
As I’m sure you can tell, I had a truly wonderful time and am already keen to enter into next year’s awards in order to be re-shortlisted; my next aim is to WIN one of those shiny trophies! A big thank you to everyone for making the event such a success, from the hotel staff to the wonderful organisers. I left with a massive smile on my face, a goody bag and finalist certificate in my hand and a giddy feeling in my heart, although I’m pretty sure that had something to do with all the free Prosecco…. UK Blog Awards, it’s been a blast!
Love Jess x
HAPPY 1ST FEBRUARY! If you missed my big announcement over the weekend then catch up by reading my newest blog post.. I'm a FINALIST in this year's @ukblogawards if you didn't already know! 🎉😁😝 #travel #bloggers #travelblogger #wanderlust #worlderlust #wordpress #blog #post #newpost #travelphotography #traveladdict #instago #instatravel #travelgram #inspo #instadaily #picoftheday #twitpic #UKBA16 #ukblogawards #ukblogger #finalist #awards
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[…] and I have known each other for just over a year now, we first met at Traverse 16 and then attended UK Blog Awards together, and have become firm friends and stayed in constant touch since then. I’m […]
[…] most of you will know, this year I was SHORTLISTED for an award at UK Blog Awards 2016 and the whole experience was fantastic from start to finish. […]
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